The environment and contested notions of sustainability are increasingly topics of public interest, political debate, and legislation across the world. Environmental education journals now publish research from a wide variety of methodological traditions that show linkages between the environment, health, development, and education. The growth in scholarship makes this an opportune time to review and synthesize the knowledge base of the environmental education (EE) field.

The purpose of this 51-chapter handbook is not only to illuminate the most important concepts, findings and theories that have been developed by EE research, but also to critically examine the historical progression of the field, its current debates and controversies, what is still missing from the EE research agenda, and where that agenda might be headed.

Published for the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

chapter |6 pages


An Orientation to Environmental Education and the Handbook
ByRobert B. Stevenson, Arjen E. J. Wals, Justin Dillon, Michael Brody

part |182 pages

Part A Conceptualizing Environmental Education as a Field of Inquiry

part |60 pages

Section I Historical, Contextual, and Theoretical Orientations That Have Shaped Environmental Education Research

chapter |10 pages

The Emergence of Environmental Education Research

A “History” of the Field
ByAnnette Gough

chapter |10 pages

Socioecological Approaches to Environmental Education and Research

A Paradigmatic Response to Behavioral Change Orientations
ByRegula Kyburz-Graber

chapter |12 pages

Thinking Globally in Environmental Education

A Critical History
ByNoel Gough

chapter |18 pages

Selected Trends in Thirty Years of Doctoral Research in Environmental Education in Dissertation Abstracts International From Collections Prepared in the United States of America

ByThomas Marcinkowski, Jennifer Bucheit, Vanessa Spero-Swingle, Christine Linsenbardt, Jennifer Engelhardt, Marianne Stadel, Richard Santangelo, Katherine Guzmon

chapter |6 pages

Transformation, Empowerment, and the Governing of Environmental Conduct

Insights to be Gained From a “History of the Present” Approach
ByJo-Anne Ferreira

part |53 pages

Section II Normative Dimensions of Environmental Education Research

chapter |13 pages

Probing Normative Research in Environmental Education

Ideas About Education and Ethics
ByBob Jickling, Arjen E. J. Wals

chapter |6 pages

Self, Environment, and Education

Normative Arisings
ByMichael Bonnett

chapter |8 pages

A Critical Theory of Place-Conscious Education

ByDavid A. Greenwood

chapter |7 pages

Learning From Hermit Crabs, Mycelia, and Banyan

Schools as Centers of Critical Inquiry and Renormatization
ByHeesoon Bai, Serenna Romanycia

chapter |7 pages

Why We Need a Language of (Environmental) Education

ByLesley Le Grange

part |66 pages

Section III Analyses of Environmental Education Discourses and Policies

chapter |7 pages

The Politics of Needs and Sustainability Education

ByLesley Le Grange

chapter |9 pages

Researching Tensions and Pretensions in Environmental/Sustainability Education Policies

From Critical to Civically Engaged Policy Scholarship
ByRobert B. Stevenson

chapter |7 pages

Changing Discourses in EE/ESD

A Role for Professional Self-Development
ByIan Robottom

chapter |8 pages

Connecting Vocational and Technical Education With Sustainability

ByAlberto Arenas, Fernando Londoño

chapter |7 pages

Trends, Junctures, and Disjunctures in Latin American Environmental Education Research

ByEdgar González Gaudiano, Leonir Lorenzetti

chapter |11 pages

EE Policies in Three Chinese Communities

Challenges and Prospects for Future Development
ByLee Chi Kin John, Wang S. u. Mei, Yang Guang

part |178 pages

Part B Research on Environmental Education Curriculum, Learning, and Assessment

part |47 pages

Section IV Curriculum Research in Environmental Education

chapter |12 pages

Traditions and New Niches

An Overview of Environmental Education Curriculum and Learning Research
ByHeila Lotz-Sisitka, John Fien, Mphemelang Ketlhoilwe

chapter |7 pages

Environmental Education in a Cultural Context

ByAlbert Zeyer, Elin Kelsey

chapter |8 pages

Place-Based Education

Practice and Impacts
ByGregory A. Smith

chapter |10 pages

Getting the Picture

From the Old Reflection—Hearing Pictures and Telling Tales, to the New Reflection—Seeing Voices and Painting Scenes
ByTony Shallcross, John Robinson

chapter |7 pages

Moinho D'Água

Environmental Education, Participation, and Autonomy in Rural Areas
ByJoão Luiz de Moraes Hoeffel, Almerinda B. Fadini, M.K. Machado, J.C. Reis, F.B. Lima

part |45 pages

Section V Research on Learning Processes in Environmental Education

chapter |10 pages

Environmental Learning

Insights From Research Into the Student Experience
ByCecilia Lundholm, Nick Hopwood, Mark Rickinson

chapter |9 pages

Conventional and Emerging Learning Theories

Implications and Choices for Educational Researchers With a Planetary Consciousness
ByArjen E. J. Wals, Justin Dillon

chapter |13 pages

Belief to Behavior

A Vital Link
ByJoe E. Heimlich, Preethi Mony, Victor Yocco

chapter |9 pages

Landscapes as Contexts for Learning

ByCarol B. Brandt

part |82 pages

Section VI Evaluation and Analysis of Environmental Education Programs, Materials, and Technologies and the Assessment of Learners and Learning

chapter |9 pages

Research on the Long-Term Impacts of Environmental Education

ByKendra Liddicoat, Marianne E. Krasny

chapter |12 pages

Advancing Environmental Education Program Evaluation

Insights From a Review of Behavioral Outcome Evaluations
ByMichaela Zint

chapter |21 pages

National Assessments of Environmental Literacy

A Review, Comparison, and Analysis
ByThomas Marcinkowski, Donghee Shin, Kyung-Im Noh, Maya Negev, Gonen Sagy, Yaakov Garb, Bill McBeth, Harold Hungerford, Trudi Volk, Ron Meyers, Mehmet Erdogan

chapter |18 pages

Geospatial Technologies

The Present and Future Roles of Emerging Technologies in Environmental Education
ByBarnett Michael, James G. MaKinster, Nancy M. Trautmann, Meredith Houle Vaughn, Sheron Mark

chapter |10 pages

Sustainability Education

Theory and Practice
BySarah Holdsworth, Ian Thomas, Kathryn Hegarty

chapter |8 pages

Learning From Neighboring Fields

Conceptualizing Outcomes of Environmental Education Within the Framework of Free-Choice Learning Experiences
ByLynn D. Dierking, John H. Falk, Martin Storksdieck

part |181 pages

Part C Issues of Framing, Doing, and Assessing in Environmental Education Research

part |49 pages

Section VII Moving Margins in Environmental Education Research

chapter |9 pages

Researching Differently

Generating a Gender Agenda for Research in Environmental Education
ByAnnette Gough

chapter |10 pages

The Representation of Indigenous Knowledges

BySoul Shava

chapter |10 pages

Educating for Environmental Justice

ByRandolph Haluza-DeLay

chapter |5 pages

Indigenous Environmental Education Research in North America

A Brief Review
ByGreg Lowan-Trudeau

chapter |9 pages

Three Degrees of Separation

Accounting for Naturecultures in Environmental Education Research
ByLeesa Fawcett

part |92 pages

Section VIII Philosophical and Methodological Perspectives

chapter |21 pages

Children as Active Researchers

The Potential of Environmental Education Research Involving Children
ByElisabeth Barratt Hacking, Amy Cutter-Mackenzie, Robert Barratt

chapter |10 pages

Collaborative Ecological Inquiry

Where Action Research Meets Sustainable Development
ByHilary Bradbury-Huang, Ken Long

chapter |11 pages

Critical Action Research and Environmental Education

Conceptual Congruencies and Imperatives in Practice
ByRobert B. Stevenson, Ian Robottom

chapter |11 pages


Relational Learning and Socioecological Pedagogies
ByMarcia McKenzie, Kim Butcher, Dustin Fruson, Michelle Knorr, Joshua Stone, Scott Allen, Teresa Hill, Jeremy Murphy, Sheelah McLean, Jean Kayira, Vince Anderson

chapter |9 pages

Greening the Knowledge Economy

Ecosophy, Ecology, and Economy
ByMichael A. Peters

chapter |4 pages

Preconceptions and Positionings

Can We See Ourselves Within Our Own Terrain?
ByPaul Hart

part |37 pages

Section IX Insights, Gaps, and Future Directions in Environmental Education Research

chapter |6 pages

The Evolving Characteristics of Environmental Education Research

ByRobert B. Stevenson, Justin Dillon, Arjen E. J. Wals, Michael Brody

chapter |11 pages

Identifying Needs in Environmental Education Research

ByAlan Reid, William Scott

chapter |13 pages

Handbooks of Environmental Education Research

For Further Reading and Writing
ByAlan Reid, Phillip G. Payne

chapter |6 pages

Tentative Directions for Environmental Education Research in Uncertain Times

ByArjen E.J Wals, Robert B. Stevenson, Michael Brody, Justin Dillon